SOSS:Save Our Super Spy…

August 11, 2010 at 9:20 pm (Movies)

Without a doubt one of the staples of the action genre of the past 50 years has been James Bond, 007. The character has been around countless years as a character in the series of novels by Ian Flemming, and has been in the more popular film series since 1962, with nearly 8 different men playing the super spy, with 11 different directors and their own takes, and 22 different films ranging from the revitalizing to the embarrassing. Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, and Pierce Brosnan have all recited the famous line “The name’s Bond… James Bond” in their own place and time, but it wasn’t until the newest revisit of the series with Daniel Craig did I become hooked.

The great thing about the series is that with each new film (most of the time) came an entirely new story. None of the films are “sequels” in the traditional sense of the word, as they’re all just spy stories with different villains and different women for each go-round, making for a classic film formula. I was a little too young with Brosnan/Tamahori’s “Die Another Day” took off in 2002, and revisiting it I’ve come to dislike Brosnan’s cheesier take on the character. Sure he looks just like you think Bond would, but the guy can’t really act. However, in 2006 came the newest rendition with British actor Daniel Craig and American Action director Martin Campbell taking the reins. The film acts as sort of a prequel, as James Bond in the beginning of the film isn’t even 007 yet. The film follows his first few missions as Judi Dench’s character “M” has to hassle with Bond’s happy trigger finger and his reluctance to follow by the rules and seemingly draw as much attention as possible to his explosive outings. That relationship between the two was really funny to watch, and felt genuine and in a sense fresh to that world. Martin Campbell directed the heck out of that movie, giving the action scenes the realistic grittiness, epic scale of fights, and quick cut action fans like me craved for, so that with each hit, fall, scrape, or gunshot you actually felt like Bond was in danger and not this invincible god-like agent many viewed him as. At the end of each fight he didn’t brush the hair out of his eyes and sip a martini, he had gashes of blood, dirt in his hair and on his clothes, and to be honest a rude displacement, mainly because he had almost lost his life. When he’s asked if he wants his drink “shaken or stirred”, he tells them it doesn’t even matter, and he doesn’t even say the line “the name’s Bond… James Bond” until the final credits start to roll. Trust me though, it was entirely worth it. Martin Campbell and the writers even kill James Bond in a sense about 3/4 of the way through the film in a frightening scene of deadly poker. The film also centered around the idea that Bond would actually form a lasting relationship with a woman, Vesper Lynn, who also worked for the CIA. By the end of the film Vesper dies in a really quick scene that a lot of people didn’t see coming, and the result is a Bond that we did see human for a split second, reduced again to the cold-hearted agent we all knew. Sam Mendes directed the first ever direct sequel in the film franchise with 2008’s Quantum of Solace. The film wasn’t mind-blowing in the sense that Casino Royale was, but the film was still greatly enjoyable and tied up the loose ends from the first movie, including why Vesper was working for the wrong people at the end of the film and who exactly these people were running the terrorist organization. The film had a certain scope about action scenes and took Bond and a new female mate (not a love interest mind you), Camille Montes. The film had a feel of its own and was totally enjoyable.

However, now it seems that the sequel to that film may never come. There was quick talks of writers, ideas for the film, and who would star, but due to many financial woes by MGM Studios, the film has been put on an “indefinite suspension”. Daniel Craig has been signed on for the film and a fourth film if the time arose, and so had Judi Dench, Jeffrey Wright, and Camille Montes for their respective roles. The film was set to resolve some of the other questions raised in Quantum of Solace, and was described to include “shocking” events by one of the writers. Shooting was to commence in New York, and even introduce the gadget creator Q, often played by John Cleese. However when you look at it, both Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace were expensive films to make. Casino Royale cost $150 million to make whereas Quantum of Solace cost a whopping $200 million. Even though MGM made far more than their money back on both of the movies, $200-$250 million is a hard pill to swallow when your studio is on the verge of bankruptcy and a number of your projects are also at the starting line but forced into development limbo. While Sam Mendes is currently without a project, Daniel Craig is moving on to different roles for the time being, which makes it even harder to get the ball rolling on this one. Who knows what could happen. I would love to see this film get made, I was a huge fan of the other two, and would be there day one to support it. Even though it’s by no means the death of the franchise, it could be another 3-4 years before we get to see James Bond die another day…

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4 Comments

  1. darkcloak said,

    Dont worry about it Earl. There will be a reboot in like five years with a new guy

  2. The James said,

    lol

    I have always wanted to get into the series. I have seen part of one of the 60’s one…but I don’t even remember which one. I may get around to watching these new ones eventually.

    btw, I wish you had put up a spoiler warning, as I have not seen casino royal and you gave away the surprise ending.

  3. The James said,

    oh, and the “lol” was directed at Darkcloak’s comment, I was not laughing at your post

  4. earlman27 said,

    Sorry, I should have put something in about the spoilers. Although it is blatantly stated in the trailer for the second one, that is a screw up on my own part. I’m sure there’s a chance there’ll be another film eventually, but it may end up a different Bond and different story. This series can last forever and has technically lol, but I’m invested in what this world they’re presenting means. I’d love to see them continue this one on and make at least one more movie before handing the reins to someone else for another “reboot”.

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